Columbine High School massacre

school shooting at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, United States on 20 April 1999

The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting and attempted bombing at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, near Denver, that happened on April 20, 1999. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold carried out the massacre and were both students at the school. They murdered 12 students and one teacher using guns. Ten of the murders happened in the school's library, where they then killed themselves with their guns. Before the shootings, they had planted two large propane bombs in the school's cafeteria. They could have killed many people in there, but they did not explode. They also planted two car bombs in the school's parking lot, which were supposed to kill first responders and news reporters. They also did not explode. They also carried pipe bombs and molotov cocktails, which they lit and threw. Most of them exploded but nobody was injured or killed by any of the bombs used during the massacre. They shot outside killing 2 student and then went inside where they shot killing 1 teacher then went inside the library where they killed 10 students then walked about the school into the cafeteria through the school again then back into the cafeteria again before going into the library and committing suicide.

Columbine High School massacre
Columbine is located in Colorado
Columbine (Colorado)
Columbine is located in the United States
Columbine (the United States)
LocationLittleton, Colorado, U.S.
Coordinates39°36′12″N 105°04′29″W / 39.60333°N 105.07472°W / 39.60333; -105.07472
DateApril 20, 1999; 25 years ago (1999-04-20)
11:19 am – 12:08 pm (MDT (UTC−6))
TargetStudents and staff at Columbine High School; and first responders
Attack type
School shooting, mass murder, murder–suicide, arson, attempted bombing, shootout, terrorism
Deaths15 (including both perpetrators)
24 (21 by gunfire)
PerpetratorsEric Harris
Dylan Klebold
MotiveUnknown, but it looked like Harris had psychopathy, Klebold had depression, and possibly terrorism

It was one of the first well-known massacres at a school in the United States, and the one with the most deaths until the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.

After the shooting


After the shooting, many people wanted to know why it had happened. Many people thought that Klebold and Harris had done it because they were bullied, and schools in the United States began talking about how to stop bullying. However, it is now thought that Klebold and Harris were bullies themselves.[2] Other people blamed parts of the media, saying that the lyrics of bands and singers like Marilyn Manson and violent video games that the shooters played might have caused it.

In 2002, filmmaker Michael Moore released a documentary movie called Bowling for Columbine that was about why the shooting happened and about the role guns have in American culture. In the movie, Moore interviewed Marilyn Manson.[3]


HOPE Columbine Memorial Library
The Columbine memorial in Clement Park

Many impromptu memorials were created after the shooting. Memorials included victims Rachel Scott's car and John Tomlin's truck.[4]

In 2000, youth advocate Melissa Helmbrecht organized a remembrance event in Denver. It featured two surviving students. It was called "A Call to Hope."[5] The library (where most of the shooting happened) was removed and replaced with an atrium. In 2001, a new library, the HOPE memorial library, was built next to the west entrance.[6]

On February 26, 2004, thousands of pieces of evidence from the shooting were shown at the Jeffco fairgrounds in Golden.[7]


  1. "Weapons". A Columbine Site. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. "10 years later, the real story behind Columbine -". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2017-08-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. Bowling for Columbine: "I Want Them to Leave Angry"
  4. "Shrine and Its Removal Are Balms to Columbine". May 6, 1999 – via LA Times.
  5. Trent Seibert (April 12, 2000). "Young leaders to rally around volunteerism". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2004.
  6. "ew Library at Columbine Draws Praise at Unveiling". June 10, 2001.
  7. David Kelly (February 26, 2004). "The Horrors of Columbine Are Laid Bare in Evidence". Los Angeles Times.